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Saturday, January 27, 2007


Shaving is blood sport. The Romans had it all wrong. They should have set those gladiators up with a bowl of cold water and a dull razor and had them shave. If more than 1 gladiator survived, then the one with the least blood lost win.

logging in is impossible

Every time I am away from this for a few days, I find it impossible to log in. Eventually I manage to get to a screen that gives me an email to reset my password. But boy is this painful to get there.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Teach or be Taught

If we stop learning, we're dead.

Among the best ways to learn something is to teach it.

Those who can, do, those who can't teach. George Bernard Shaw.
One of the more stupider things ever said in life.

Teaching is a noble calling, up there with call waiting and the call of the wild.

Teaching is a noble calling. Tell Lord Gloucester that I'll be with him in a second.

Idle thoughts on teaching

With apologies to Samuel Johnson:

Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to teach in a few hours, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

Idle thoughts on language and ripping

If the verb rip now means to burning your songs to CD, then is ripping him a new one now a nice (if possibly still illegal) thing to do to your friend?

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Hate on the basis of race CREED color or sex

It occurs to me in this new year that hate is still with us. There is discrimination, wide spread in the United States. Hatred and fear of people because of their different color or looks is rampant. Sex discrimination is common, even as we try so hard to eliminate it.

Religious discrimination seems to cut many ways. Some religions see the absence of promotion of their own religion or the absence of allowance to put up their specific shrines in public places as discrimination. To my mind, as an atheist, religious neutrality needs to be maintained by the state. These impositions of other peoples religions on everyone, or an assumption that everyone is happy with these impositions is incorrect.

The worst and most apparent hatred in current society seems to be reserved for neither race, religion, or gender. The worst hatreds in current society are based on political preference. As a liberal, it seems to me that Republicans have made it a major focus of their advertising to cast aspersions on liberalism and liberals.

Listen to Anne Coulter spew hatred. She has called for the death of Supreme Court Justice Stevens. "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said. "That's just a joke, for you in the media." Some joke. Parts of the titles of two of her books: Treason: Liberal Treachery and Godless: The Church of Liberalism. Clear smear and lies. As if religious people couldn't be liberal? This stuff hardly deserves a response. But Coulter is all over the news. News organizations support this sort of hate?

It is permissible in some Republican circles to explain that members of the opposite party are treasonous. The Bush administration has specialized in describing any one who disagrees with them (democrat or not) as traitors and supporters of terrorism. Any disagreement gets you a 'soft on terrorism', 'soft on crime', 'wimp' label.

The crime here is in the rampant lying, hate and distortion. Hatred and incitement to hatred of someone because of their politics should be just as immoral as hatred or discrimination because of race, gender, or religion.

It's one thing to say that wanting to reduce troop levels in Iraq would cause events X, Y and Z. It's another to respond with attacks on the person doing the proposing.

I guess then, calling the president stupid probably shouldn't be done. Rather, one must explain why the president's policies lead to poor outcomes. Huge budget deficits, massive deaths in Iraq from fighting (is this even a war?) How framing the Iraq situation as a war that can be won or lost is an incorrect dichotomy. Military triumph where our superior firepower caused the ending of hostilities would not be a triumph. But that is the definition of winning the war. Quote winning unquote would lead to an economic bleeding of the US money until we left. Then the fighting in Iraq would resume. And it would be up to who to stop that?